Archive for the ‘Metal Roofing’ tag
This metal roof installation was more of an emergency job. In essence – during Hurricane Irene, a large (1500 lbs.) tree fell on the roof of this house in Cumberland, RI, breaking much of the framing and roof sheeting, and leaving a huge hole in the roof, as well as destroying a previous roof that was on the house – Interlock’s aluminum shingles roof, that was installed just a few years prior.
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If you are a homeowner and you are planning to replace your roof soon – whether because it leaks, or it is getting old and you want to replace it before its starts leaking – a metal roof is one of your best options as far as roof replacement. However, metal roofing costs might be a factor in your re-roofing decision. The asphalt shingles roof costs about 2-3 times less than a metal roof, depending on various factors. At the same time, a metal roof will last a lifetime, whereas most asphalt shingles roofs will need to be replaced within 15 years. Also, the cool roof coating on metal roofs will make them much more energy-efficient, which will substantially reduce your cooling costs, even in the mild climate of New England.
The good news is that the government offers a 30% cool roof tax credit, with a $1500 cap, for any qualifying metal roof installation, and all our metal roofs do qualify for this tax credit, as they come with a cool roof coating and are Energy Star certified. There is a catch however – the tax credit will expire on Dec. 31, 2010. So if you are considering installing a metal roof, doing so before the new year is the way to go.
Consider this – most residential metal roofs will cost about $15000, so the tax credit is about a 10% discount off the total roof cost, and most metal roof installations will qualify for the full amount of this tax credit. Basically, now is the best time to have a new metal roof installed, because we don’t know when or if the cool roof tax credit will ever be reinstated.
Benefits of installing a metal roof:
Metal roofs provide a much longer lifespan, compared to regular asphalt roofs, as well as supreme weather protection for your home. Most houses in the north east region, get Ice Dams along the roof eaves, and the way an asphalt shingles roof is designed, allows the ice dams to cause roof leaks, which in turn can cause substantial structural damages, and will require other repairs to the roof and the interior of your home.
Metal roofs offer inherent protection against ice dams. The interlocking design of metal roofs will prevent ice dams from penetrating your roof. Also, most of the snow will just slide off your roof, even before ice dams can form.
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Most solar systems are installed on a roof of a house or a building. The exception are solar farms or ground-mounted solar installations, but these are rare, and usually 100% commercial solar systems. The reason most solar systems are installed on a roof is because of limited space – especially in the urban environment.
on the other hand, roofs represent significant unused space, and are usually not shaded by trees, nearby buildings, etc – they are the highest point of a building with great sun exposure, which makes them perfect to install solar panels on.
In this article we will discuss solar roofing systems, which integrate roofing materials with solar PV panels or solar thermal systems. Although most roof-mounted solar systems are installed on top of an existing roof – be it an asphalt shingles roof or any type of flat roof – these solar systems are not integrated into the roofing material, and therefore are not solar roofs.
What is solar roofing? Roof-integrated solar systems explained.
Solar roofing is a final product which integrates a Solar Panel with the roofing material suitable for either a sloped or a flat roof. The solar panels used in solar roofing are usually thin-film photovoltaic laminates. Most popular Solar PV laminates commercially used today, are the Unisolar thin-film PV panels.
Unisolar thin-film PV laminates were originally designed to fit into and be integrated with standing seam metal roof panels. Unisolar panels are 15.5 inches wide and fit perfectly into a 16″ standing seam panels, and are attached or laminated with special butyl adhesive that is on the back of each Uni-solar PV panel.
As time progressed and solar integrators were having flat roof leak repair issues with solar systems they installed on flat commercial roofs. After they installed solar mounting racks and attached them to the roof deck, the fasteners would start leaking after a while. Roofing manufacturers adressed this issue with different versions of flat roofing materials that integrated Unisolar PV panels – one such system is IB Solar Roof. There are many types of both solar metal roofs and solar flat roofs, using solar PV panels from various manufacturers (though as I said, most do use Unisolar PV laminates).
In this article we will discuss different types of solar roofing systems such as Solar Metal Roofing, Solar Flat Roofs, and Solar Shingles that get integrated with regular asphalt shingles roofs.
Solar Metal Roofing
The most common type of solar metal roofing is the standing seam metal roof with integrated Unisolar PV laminates. Unisolar PV laminates were initially designed to fit in the pan of standing seam panels, with the connection terminals concealed by the ridge cap. Because the connectors or terminals of these PV panels are not UV stable, they need to be hidden from the sun, while the rest of the panel is of course exposed to the sun to generate solar electricity.
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In April we installed a new lifetime Steel Metal Shingles roof on a house in Attleboro, Massachusetts. The house is located on a beautiful quiet street not far from Attleboro Center, as well as Mass / RI border. The new metal roof replaced and old, failing asphalt shingles roof, with some shingles blown off by the wind.
The Metal Roof we installed was a Tamko Steel Shingles with real slate look, in the beautiful Sequoya Red color. Steel metal shingles are an interlocking metal roof system, where each shingle is locked on all four sides and is held in place by clips and roofing nails, and the other six shingles around it.
Steel shingles metal roofs offer great flexibility in terms of installation, excellent water-tightness, and prevent Ice Dams formation as metal roofs shed Ice and Snow. On top of being an excellent solution to roof leaks and Ice Dams, metal roofs last in the range of 50 years or more!
Metal Roof installation.
The old roof was two layers of asphalt shingles, which according to building code, must be removed before the new roof is installed. Removing the old roof is also beneficial in terms of removing extra weight off the house. Although metal roofs are VERY light, weighting 40 lbs per 100 sq. ft. in aluminum, and about 65 lbs. in steel shingles, they will not add nearly as much weight as 1 layer of asphalt shingles (about 275 lbs per 100 sq. ft.), and can be safely installed as a second layer, it is a good idea to do a full tear off, to allow the repair of any rotten wood, and to improve roof ventilation.
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Last week, Boston was a host to hordes of roofing sales people, roof manufacturers’ reps and local roofing contractors from all over Massachusetts and New England. It was the NERCA (North East Roofing Contractors Association) annual roofing convention, where most roofing materials, tools and equipment manufacturers were present, promoting their new products and services.
After being to a few of these shows already, I have found that they don’t get any more exciting, but it’s always nice that NERCA sets up up open bars with semi-decent wine, and cheese / crackers / fresh veggies & berries tables. I think that for roof sales professionals, these roofing conventions have become a boring necessity, as all they do is schmooze with each other and talk about competition. As for me and other roofing contractors, we can always find some new and exciting roofing materials and roofing tools, equipment and services, such as infra-red roof scanners, roof lifts, a hydraulic-powered dumpster, which can be lifted to the roof level to speed up roof tear-off and clean up process.
As a Flat Roofs contractor we were there supporting IB Roofs, which had a booth there, and I got to meet IB’s new Regional Manager Dana Spurgeon, as well as IB’s local reps in Massachusetts – Jerry Lang and Kevin Laprte (whom I already know of course).
Roofing Equipment presented at the Boston Roofing Show:
Besides the obvious and now ritualistic visit to the IB Roofs stand, I wanted to find as many cool, interesting and innovative roofing products at this show, and quickly wondered off, to explore the unknown. My first find was an excellent new automatic hot-air welder by Leister – the new Varimat V2.
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The term “green” has become very popular during the last decade and consequently overused, misused and abused. Anything and everything can be called “green” today. To make money and to attract environmentally-conscious customers, people will call themselves and their products “green”, even when it is just a blatant lie to confuse uneducated consumers. Being a roofing contractor, I will concentrate on roofing products and services. For example, many asphalt shingles manufacturers now offer “cool” and “green” shingle products – to me it’s just a shameless tactic to sell the same NOT-GREEN crap that is painted A different color (usually some shade of white). Excuse me, but asphalts shingles are not green, period! TheY are made with asphalt, can’t be recycled and end up in landfills in 10-15 years.
Since the term green is very vague and can be interpreted in many ways, I’ll offer my vision of “green” – a green roofing contractor to be exact, which describes the way I think and try to operate our roofing business. I want to mention that when I say “green roofing contractor”, it has nothing to do with with a roofing contractor installing green roofs or roof-top gardens. To me a contractor installing roof-top vegetation is a highly-specialized landscaping company, but not a roofing contractor (unless they also install the actual flat roofing membrane to waterproof the building).
Quick navigation in this article:
What is a “green” roofing contractor and how one is different from regular roofing companies.
Learn about green benefits of Metal Roofing and IB Flat Roof
What is a “green” roofing contractor?
In my mind a green roofing contractor is a company that works hard to help protect environment and reduce its energy consumption and green-house gas production or carbon footprint. Sure, almost any company will have a carbon-footprint as it’s nearly impossible to be carbon-neutral, but there are many ways to achieve a much lower carbon footprint. Read the rest of this entry »
Update – Dec. 12, 2010 – recently we’ve uploaded a gallery of many metal and flat roofs that we’ve installed in Massachusetts, Connecticut and Rhode Island – see the roofing jobs gallery. All roofs mentioned below are listed on the roof gallery page, with references to job profiles, and before / after pictures.
Roofing in Massachusetts
Massachusetts is our home state, and we install majority of our roofs here (with Connecticut being in second place). In Massachusetts, the roofing market is very different, depending on location, and although there are a lot more sloped roofs, not only in Mass., but in the rest of the country, we still install more Flat roofs than Metal roofs. As for the geographic location of your home in Massachusetts, up north, toward the New Hampshire border, roofs are more prone to Ice Dam roof leaks and damages than houses located in the southern MA.
Although Massachusetts is not a very big state, your location can have a dramatic effect on the amount of snow fall in the winter, and thus your chances of having Ice dams and related roof leaks. For example, on the same day, an average roof in Sharon or Norwood will have 1-2 inches of ice along the eaves, whereas an average roof in Lowell will have 5+ inches of ice build-up. If you go further north or south away from Boston the amount of annual snow accumulation and ice dams will increase or decrease respectively. Read the rest of this entry »
Foreword: If you are a building inspector / official, please try to understand that this rant is from a contractors point of view… Or at least try to be objective and unbiased.
Pros and cons of building permits:
Why do we need building inspectors (and do we really need them)? Well, they are supposed to inspect – right? They are there to protect homeowners from shady contractors, and ensure that construction goes in accordance with state / national building codes. That’s why we also have specialty trade inspectors (electrical, plumbing, mechanical, etc). But do they really do their job? Another question – why do we need building permits? Yes, to pay the building inspector for doing his/her job of doing the inspections. Yea, right!
I will purposely omit building inspectors in charge of large construction projects, such as bridges, sky-scrapers, factories, etc. There is a lot more responsibility there, and these inspectors are a lot more knowledgeable than your average “Joe, the building inspector”.
In my time being a roofing contractor, I had to pull many permits in the last 6 years – for almost every job we did. In all this time, only once have I seen a building inspector at a job site, and he was there to harass the home-owner about the “illegal kitchen” that came with the house they just purchased. In the beginning of my career as a contractor, I needed to get permits, but did not have sufficient / adequate insurance and in some cases did not have the Home Improvement Contractor registration in a state where I was doing work. Luckily for me, I was able to get permits, and because I have dignity (I’d like to think so) I did decent work without code violations and nothing bad ever happened. I once had a “stop job” order posted at a job site, where we forgot to pull a permit. Ahh… the good old days.
When you get into serious contracting like the Metal Roofing and IB Roof installations, you can’t afford not to have proper insurances and licenses. Your clients by default expect everything to be current and you to be fully insured – both worker’s comp and general liability. And besides, it is easier to show proof of insurance than to explain why you do not have it, or better yet to ask a home owner to pull “an owners permit”. It is also much easier to get a permit in 5 minutes instead of waiting 3 days and hoping that the inspector is not a complete a$$ or is looking for a bribe – for some reason, I have a very strong suspicion that some building inspectors in Lynn, Revere, Malden and other surrounding towns in Massachusetts, purposely jerk contractors around, as if telling them – “give me $300 and you will have your permit”. I really believe so. Or they just hate people in general. But let me get back to building inspectors. Read the rest of this entry »
It is WINTER, and the cold weather is upon us. Now most homeowners who did not have a chance to replace their leaking roofs during spring and summer want to get it done now – before the cold weather arrives. August, September and October are the busiest months of the year for a roofing contractor (for us at least) we get many calls and online estimate requests from homeowners looking to install a new IB Flat Roof or a Metal Roof on their home. At least 75 percent of these inquiries mention that they would like to have a new roof installed before the winter.
While we do understand your concern about having a new roof before winter weather comes, I must point out a misconception among homeowners, assuming that a roof can only be installed during the warm months. While this is partially true, due to limitations of specific roof types (technologies), for us, installing our roof systems in the winter is the same as it is in the summer – just a little colder.
Basically, it is the best time for homeowners to have their roof installed during winter, as you will get the best roof prices, as well as a choice of the best roofing contractors, as work is limited and contractors compete for work and lower their prices to get the job. However, be aware that some roofs can’t or should not be installed in the winter – read bellow to find out what you should know about winter roofing, and which roofing materials should not be installed in the cold weather.
Which roofs can be installed in the winter and which can’t:
As mentioned before, there are certain types of roofing systems that should not be installed in the winter, and also those that can, without any compromises in quality. Let’s look at them, but first I will divide them into two categories - flat roofs and sloped roofs. Also, lets establish that by “winter” I mean temperatures bellow 40 degrees F.
When it comes to flat roofing, there are virtually only two systems that can be safely installed in the winter – PVC and TPO. These two are thermoplastic single ply flat roofing products, which are installed using the Hot Air Welded seams instead of various types of adhesives.
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Recently we finished installing an aluminum standing seam metal on a residential home in Wayland, Massachusetts. The roof is made of .032 Aluminum, coated with grey finish Kynar 500 coating. It is a 1.5″ snap-lock standing seam, attached with stainless steel clips and wood screws. Also, as you can see, there is a rail snow retention system, which I will describe in detail bellow. It consists of cast-aluminum mounts attached to ribs of the standing seams roof and two rows stainless steel cross bars (rails) to hold snow and ice from sliding off the roof.
Originally, the homeowner was having bad problems with Ice dams and roof leaks. Originally the roof had “ice belt” made of copper, but it only covered the bottom 2 feet of the roof and as we discovered later, during a roof tear-off, it was tucked under the shingles above it by only 2-3 inches. Needles to say, this copper ice-belt did not work as it was intended to and the ice dams were still creating leaks. After a while, to solve the Ice Dams problem the home owner installed large sheets of aluminum.
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